History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 857
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<November 10.> The foregoing is a true specimen of Liberty
had spent his time since our arrival at in searching the  Laws to find authority for trying us by Court Martial. Had he not been a Lawyer of  eminence I should have supposed it no very difficult task to decide that quiet,  peaceful, unoffending and private Citizens too, except as Ministers of the Gospel, were  not amenable to a military tribunal in a Country governed by civil laws. But  be this as it may wrote the that he had
< to > “detained Gen. White  and his field officers here, a day or two, for the purpose of holding a Court martial  if necessary. I this day made out charges against the Prisoners, and called on   to try them as a Committing Court, and I am now busily engaged  in procuring Witnesses, and submitting facts— There being no civil officers in ,  I have to use the Military to get witnesses from there, which I do without reserve—  The most of the Prisoners here I consider guilty of Treason, and I believe will be  convicted, and the only difficulty in law is, can they be tried in any County but  ? if not they cannot be there indicted, until a change of population—  In the event the latter view is taken by the civil courts, I suggest the propriety of  trying Jo Smith and those leaders taken by , by a Court Martial for mutiny.  This I am in favor of only as a dernier resort. I would have taken this course with  Smith at any rate; but it being doubtful whether a court martial has jurisdiction  or not, in the present case— that is, whether these people are to be treated as in time  of war, and the mutineers as having mutinied in time of War— and I would  here ask you to forward to me the Attorney General’s opinion on this point. it will  not do to allow these leaders to return to their treasonable work again, on account  of there not being indicted in . They have committed treason, murder,  arson, burglary, robbery, larceny and perjury
<Prisoners acquitted  at > The Three days investigation having closed at every man  was honorably acquitted. being judge— then ordered  every family to be out of in ten days, with permission to go to , and  there tarry until Spring, and then leave the under pain of extermination, the  weather was very cold, more so than usual, for that season of the year; and in keeping  this order of ’s they had to leave their crops and houses, and to live in  tents and waggons in this inclement season of the year— As for their flocks and  herds the mob had delivered them from the trouble of taking care of them, or from  the pain of seeing them starve to death, by stealing them. An arrangement was made  in which it was stipulated that a committee of twelve which had been previously appointed  should have the privilege of going from to for the term of four weeks  for the purpose of conveying their crops from to . The committee were to wear  white badges on their hats for protection.
<30 killed a multitude  wounded, 100 missing &c> About Thirty of the brethren have been killed, A multitude wounded, about a hundred  are missing, and about Sixty at , awaiting their trial, for what they know not.

11 November 1838 • Sunday

<11> Sunday 11th. While in , we were under the charge of from , who suffered all manner of abuse to be heaped upon us. During this time my afflictions  were great, and our situation was truly painful— informed us that he would turn  us over to the Civil authorities for trial Joseph Smith Jr., , , [p. 857]
November 10. The foregoing is a true specimen of Liberty
had spent his time since our arrival at in searching the Laws to find authority for trying us by Court Martial. Had he not been a Lawyer of eminence I should have supposed it no very difficult task to decide that quiet, peaceful, unoffending and private Citizens too, except as Ministers of the Gospel, were not amenable to a military tribunal in a Country governed by civil laws. But be this as it may wrote the that he had
to “detained Gen. White and his field officers here, a day or two, for the purpose of holding a Court martial if necessary. I this day made out charges against the Prisoners, and called on to try them as a Committing Court, and I am now busily engaged in procuring Witnesses, and submitting facts— There being no civil officers in , I have to use the Military to get witnesses from there, which I do without reserve— The most of the Prisoners here I consider guilty of Treason, and I believe will be convicted, and the only difficulty in law is, can they be tried in any County but ? if not they cannot be there indicted, until a change of population— In the event the latter view is taken by the civil courts, I suggest the propriety of trying Jo Smith and those leaders taken by , by a Court Martial for mutiny. This I am in favor of only as a dernier resort. I would have taken this course with Smith at any rate; but it being doubtful whether a court martial has jurisdiction or not, in the present case— that is, whether these people are to be treated as in time of war, and the mutineers as having mutinied in time of War— and I would here ask you to forward to me the Attorney General’s opinion on this point. it will not do to allow these leaders to return to their treasonable work again, on account of there not being indicted in . They have committed treason, murder, arson, burglary, robbery, larceny and perjury
Prisoners acquitted at The Three days investigation having closed at every man was honorably acquitted. being judge— then ordered every family to be out of in ten days, with permission to go to , and there tarry until Spring, and then leave the under pain of extermination, the weather was very cold, more so than usual, for that season of the year; and in keeping this order of ’s they had to leave their crops and houses, and to live in tents and waggons in this inclement season of the year— As for their flocks and herds the mob had delivered them from the trouble of taking care of them, or from the pain of seeing them starve to death, by stealing them. An arrangement was made in which it was stipulated that a committee of twelve which had been previously appointed should have the privilege of going from to for the term of four weeks for the purpose of conveying their crops from to . The committee were to wear white badges on their hats for protection.
30 killed a multitude wounded, 100 missing &c About Thirty of the brethren have been killed, A multitude wounded, about a hundred are missing, and about Sixty at , awaiting their trial, for what they know not.

11 November 1838 • Sunday

11 Sunday 11th. While in , we were under the charge of from , who suffered all manner of abuse to be heaped upon us. During this time my afflictions were great, and our situation was truly painful— informed us that he would turn us over to the Civil authorities for trial Joseph Smith Jr., , , [p. 857]
Page 857